Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Spaghetti Carbonara




Wee Bear's favorite!

Traditionally, Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with egg, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper. The dish arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century. The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two.

Wee Bear loves the addition of Italian sausage. The story goes- We had to fly to Hartford, Connecticut to get a Visa quickly for a very important anniversary trip to Rio de Janairo for New Years Eve. We always try to make the best of a "crazy" situation, so, we enjoyed seeing Hartford. One night we dined at the oldest Italian restaurant in Hartford, Carbone's and that's where Wee Bear had his first Fettucine Carbonara with "Sweet Italian sausage" and pancetta. He was in heaven and he looked at me and said, "you need to make this"! Well, no problem, add the sausage!

This recipe is the one I use, which I have tweeked over the years. Very few ingredients, a real comfort food dish and of course for Wee Bear, I add the sausage!!

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

6 ounces pancetta, you can use good quality bacon in a pinch

3 large egg yolks

1 large egg

1/2 cup Parmesan, plus extra for topping

1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, if you do not have Pecorino Romano use Parmesan

10 ounces of spaghetti noodles

freshly ground pepper

Kosher salt

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cut the pancetta or bacon into 1/4" X 1/2" pieces. Saute over medium high heat, do not crisp up. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 

Drain the excess oil from the pan and add 1/2 cup hot water, boil and scape up any little brown bits. Set the skillet aside.

Whisk the egg yolks, egg and cheeses together in a bowl. 

When water comes to a boil, put the pasta in and follow instructions for al dente pasta, less 2-3 minutes. (it will finish in the skillet) Drain the pasta and put into the skillet. Reserve 2 cups of pasta cooking liquid. Turn the heat on about med high, the liquid should be simmering with a slow boil and steaming.

 Whisk 1 cup of the pasta water into the egg yolks, to warm it up. This is an important step as you do not want scrambled eggs.

Add the egg mixture to the pasta, tossing it continually and keeping the heat low...just below simmering. Keep a eye on it and remove from heat if it is going too fast. (you do NOT want scramble eggs) Add more pasta cooking liquid if needed. The consistency should be slightly thick. Add the pancetta, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 

I like to serve with a couple basil leaves, parsley or even a twig of rosemary on the plate. To make it for holiday you could split a cherry tomato and put a green herb with it. 

Serve with grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano. Enjoy!




 




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